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Elena and Her Men (1956)

Elena et les hommes (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 12 September 1956 (France)
Polish countess Elena falls in love to a Frensh radical party's candidate, a general, in pre world war I Paris, but another officer pines for her.

Director:

Jean Renoir

Writers:

Jean Renoir (adaptation), Jean Serge (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ingrid Bergman ... Elena Sokorowska
Jean Marais ... Général François Rollan
Mel Ferrer ... Le comte Henri de Chevincourt
Jean Richard ... Hector
Juliette Gréco ... Miarka, la gitane (as Juliette Greco)
Pierre Bertin Pierre Bertin ... Martin-Michaud
Dora Doll ... Rosa la Rose
Frédéric Duvallès Frédéric Duvallès ... Gaudin
Renaud Mary Renaud Mary ... Fleury
Jacques Morel Jacques Morel ... Duchêne
Albert Rémy ... Buchez
Jean Claudio Jean Claudio ... Lionel Villaret
Mirko Ellis Mirko Ellis ... Marbeau
Jacques Hilling Jacques Hilling ... Lisbonne
Jacques Jouanneau Jacques Jouanneau ... Eugène Martin-Michaud
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Storyline

Polish countess Elena falls in love to a Frensh radical party's candidate, a general, in pre world war I Paris, but another officer pines for her. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

We give you the fire and the loveliness, the softness and the restlessness of a woman in love as played by the most female of all women...Ingrid Bergman See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

12 September 1956 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Elena and Her Men See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Audrey Hepburn did not want to be separated from her husband 'Mel Ferrer' while she was making Funny Face (1957), so filming of the Paris scenes in that film were timed to coincide with Ferrer's filming for this film. See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are a newspaper wedding announcement for the film's characters which includes the actors' names in parenthesis. See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Une histoire seule (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Miarka
Music by Joseph Kosma
Lyrics by Jean Renoir
Performed by Juliette Gréco
See more »

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User Reviews

 
colorfully presented but utterly uninvolving
12 July 2014 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

A Jean Renoir vaudeville stars Ingrid Bergman as a Polish princess-cum-widow Elena Sokorowska in pre WWI Paris, merrily philandering with her suitors, until they are pinned down between two, the radical party general François Rollan (Marais) who is a candidate for the prime minister of the country and a romantic count Henri de Chevincourt (Ferrer).

My second Renoir's film after THE RULES OF THE GAME (1939, 8/10), ELENA AND HER MEN is on a splendid parade of polychromatism with exquisite costumes and interior decoration, whereas the movie is indulged in its own flamboyance and fecklessness, not even Juliette Gréco's superb rendition could ease the despondent frown.

Maybe it was Renoir's intention to make a film pandering for French audience and foreign Gallo- savants at its time, but the story is utterly uninvolving, all the rapid talking side characters pop up and romp around inordinately, which causes great trouble to comprehend what is going on on the screen, soon or later, all of them will inexplicably lapses into ridiculous buffoons, and more unsatisfying is that there is never enough room for viewers to savor the farce.

Bergman has a gregarious presence in this light-hearted rom-com, a skip-deep socialite can equally excel in conquering any man she wants and appeasing any man she deserts, with her charm daisy. Two besotted gentlemen, either the aristocratic and uptight Marias or the more characterless Ferrer, fail to make strong impact other than a convenient pawn to be blindly swept off his feet by Elena ever since the first glance.

Supporting roles galore, Jean Richard is Rollan's guard Hector, fights for the love of Lolotte (Noël), Elena's young maid, with Eugéne (Jouanneau), Elena's soon-to-be son-in-law, and truly, Elena is going to remarry with shoe businessman Mr. Martin-Michaud (Bertin), and their will be a double wedding with Eugéne marries his fiancée Denise (Nadal), things are all mismanaged under a political turbulence which one might find it difficult to decipher with its fast pace. Not to mention Rollan's quartet political corp, things could not be more messier.

Renoir certainly is still good at his trick with various characters bungle together within a carefully measured frame, but it doesn't change much for the haphazard love-triangle, in the end, one can only wish it could end as soon as possible, since our rationality determines that it doesn't worth all the effort.


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